Mercedes-Benz has opened up a whole new chapter in the premium compact segment with the exciting new A-Class, and has revealed a stunning model line up and keen pricing ahead of the vehicle launching to the UK in December 2012.
With five model lines starting from £18,945, supported by two design-led packages, aggressive styling, and powerful engines ranging from 109hp to 211hp, with extremely efficient emissions from just 98g of CO2/km, the new A-Class really does beat with the pulse of a new generation.
Here’s a summary of the UK model lines and specification. Full pricing and model line-up is shown at the end of the release:
The A 180 BlueEFFICIENCY petrol, priced at £18,945, is available with a six-speed manual and includes comfort suspension; fabric upholstery; and Audio 20 CD/radio with 5.8” colour display; MP3, WMA and AAC-compatible; aux-in socket; USB port within the centre armrest, Bluetooth and Becker Map Pilot pre-wiring.
Building upon the A 180, the SE model, which starts from £20,125, offers the distinctive two lamella grille in the vehicle body colour; comfort suspension; 16” 10-spoke alloy wheels; sports seats in a fabric and ARTICO stripe design; Nappa leather steering wheel; fabric trim parts with stylish contrast stitching; and Audio 20.
The SE is available as both A 180 BlueEFFICIENCY petrol (122hp) and A 180 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY, with the diesel variant offering 109hp and from 98g CO2/km – the first Mercedes-Benz to emit below 100 g/km CO2 emissions. The diesel model returns 74.3mpg on the official combined cycle.
The Sport model gives a choice of four engine options: A 180 BlueEFFICIENCY petrol (122hp), A 200 BlueEFFICIENCY petrol (156hp), A 180 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY diesel (109hp), and A 200 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY diesel (136hp). The A 200 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY reaches 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds and returns 65.7mpg with CO2 emissions of just 114 g/km when twinned with the 7G-DCT automatic transmission.
Designed to look more dynamic than the SE, the Sport, starting from £21,240, offers twin visible exhaust pipes; 17” bi-colour five-twin spoke alloy wheels and the two lamella grille in silver with chrome highlights. Inside, the Sport offers a perforated Nappa leather steering wheel, ARTICO trim parts with contrast stitching, sports seats in a fabric and ARTICO chequered design and Audio 20.
The Sport model is fitted with comfort suspension, as well as cruise control with Speedtronic, and comes with rain sensors and interior ambient lighting.
To confirm the sporting credentials of the new A-Class, Mercedes-Benz has also introduced two AMG-inspired modes to complete the range: AMG Sport and Engineered by AMG.
The AMG Sport, from £23,445, includes the Dynamic Handling Package with sports suspension; perforated disc brakes and cruise control with Speedtronic, as well as AMG bodystyling; 18” AMG five-spoke alloy wheels; AMG floor mats and door sill panels; and the two lamella grille in silver with chrome highlights.
In addition, the AMG Sport, which is offered for the A 200 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY, A 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY, A 200 BlueEFFICIENCY and A 250 BlueEFFICIENCY with up to 211hp, has a flat-bottomed perforated Nappa leather sports steering wheel, Alcantra trim parts with sporty red stitching, sports seats in ARTICO and Dinamica, rain sensors, ambient lighting and Audio 20, as per the Sport line.
Engineered by AMG
Completing the new A-Class model range is the Engineered by AMG model, which is available with the A 250 BlueEFFICIENCY at launch, and the A 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY AMG Sport in Spring 2013 (automatic transmission only).
The Engineered by AMG model includes the Diamond grille with one louver, taken directly from Concept A-CLASS of 2010; AMG sports suspension; red brake callipers; 18” AMG twin-spoke alloy wheels, and 235/40 R18 tyres; and changes to the ESP characteristics.
The Engineered by AMG model will also feature bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights; red trim parts in the front and rear bumpers; privacy glass; red seat belts and air vent rings; and wheel arch and floor mats with Sport badges.
Night and Exclusive Packages
Customers can also customise their Sport and AMG Sport model lines with a further two optional packages: Night package, offering privacy glass; black gloss beltline and mirror caps; dark 18” alloys; the two lamella grille with black gloss and chrome accents; and bi-xenon headlights with LED day time running lights. The Exclusive package includes: ARTICO stitched upper dashboard and leather upholstery; four-way lumbar support; heated front seats; armrest with stitching and velour floor mats.
All engines of the new A-Class feature ECO start/stop as standard, and in addition to the new six-speed manual transmissions, the 7G-DCT dual clutch automatic transmission is also available across all engines too.
At the same time the new model reinforces that safety is the priority for Mercedes-Benz. In addition to ESP, Active Bonnet and Adaptive Brake with HOLD function and Hill-Start Assist, standard specification includes the radar-based COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST, which can reduce the risk of nose-to-tail collisions, or minimise their effects, in conjunction with the standard ADAPTIVE BRAKE feature. COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST alerts a distracted driver through visual and acoustic warnings if it senses an accident is likely to happen. It also primes the Brake Assist function to ensure maximum stopping power as soon as the driver touches the brake pedal and functions from speeds of 20 mph.
Also included as standard is ATTENTION ASSIST: the innovative system developed by Mercedes-Benz to monitor driver behaviour and warn of signs of tiredness. It is primarily based on steering wheel movements, since this is the first thing that becomes erratic when a driver is getting tired. The system monitors more than 70 parameters, which are then assessed for signs of drowsiness. It issues an audible warning and flashes up a visual warning in the instrument cluster: ATTENTION ASSIST Take a Break! The system is active at speeds of between 50 and 110 mph.
Well-known safety features from the larger Mercedes-Benz model ranges are also optionally available for the first time in the A-Class, including PRE SAFE® and DISTRONIC PLUS, as well as the blind spot, lane keeping and speed limit assistants.
New Levels of Connectivity
For the first time, Mercedes-Benz has integrated the Apple iPhone comprehensively in to the new A-Class, including SIRI compatibility. The Drive Kit Plus, available as an option across all models, will enable drivers to access all the key content from their iPhone through the in-vehicle display, controlled safely via the centre armrest. The system, accessed via a special Mercedes-Benz app, allows users to send pre-determined messages, select music tracks and access social media, and will be optionally available across all the model lines as a retro fit at retailers.